Making Every Year Count: Linda Lawless celebrates 45 years in VUMC finance

For 45 years, Linda Lawless, manager, Revenue Cycle Administration, has helped make sure VUMC’s financial “I”s were dotted and “T”s were crossed. Linda began her career at VUMC in high school as a temporary employee.

“I worked with Vanderbilt Temp Services in the afternoons when I was in high school,” she said. “Then one time, I was sent on an assignment in inpatient accounting, and I ended up getting hired as a full-time employee in February of 1978.”

Linda said what she remembers most about that first day in February 1978 is the amount of work waiting for her.

“My supervisor drove me to the Baker Building ­— which is where the personnel office was ­— to complete all my paperwork. He just laughed and said, ‘well, now it’s official.’ And I thought ‘what have I done?’”

She was only 18. Even so, Linda persevered, starting in the patient accounting department before it became part of the Revenue Cycle department. Currently, she provides position management support for the revenue cycle division, which is part of the finance administrative central team.

Linda said what has changed the most about VUMC since she began her career is the growth of the institution as well as the changes in culture.

“I've seen how so many new buildings and moves, and it's just been amazing. Also, the change in the culture has been so impressive. It’s been really special to see the caring environment that we work in and that we provide our patients,” she said.

“Technology has also changed things. There was no technology when I first started. Everything was manual. We didn't even have a computer in the department, and we had ledger cards that everything had to be written on, and they had to be tabbed based on the last name.”

Linda, who was recognized with the Above and Beyond award in the Department of Finance, said what she enjoys most about her work at VUMC is the diversity. She said the best part of her job is working with a variety of people and being able to provide them assistance. Plus, a good variety of job duties ensures she never gets bored.

When not at work, Linda said her favorite thing to do is spend time with her family, for which she also credits VUMC.

“It’s such a good place to work, and it means so much to me as an institution. It saved the lives of two of the most important people in my life — my mother when I was younger and my one and only grandchild who was born at VUMC as a micro preemie. She's 10 years old now, which shows how amazing all of the work that happens at Vanderbilt is and how many lives we touch.”